July 1 – Canada Day 2014 – we arrived at the Mattice lake base in Armstrong after 10 days at Kearns Lake through Thousand Lakes Outposts. The lilacs are just starting to bloom (great fragrance), the black flies are at their peak (yuck) and the water levels are receding from the highest levels people have seen in decades. Sounds like a spring time trip and given the very late ice out and cold spring, it essentially was.
Six of us – including LarryS and his sister Pat – spent 10 wonderful days at the Kearns Lake outpost. This is our second trip there and you can see the first trip report (2011) at:
I won’t repeat the Taj Mahal cabin conditions and contents (you can get the details from the previous report) except to note that the indoor bathroom has been totally remodeled (in cedar panels with new shower stall), there’s a remote generator start in the cabin, the satellite phone works essentially all the time now and there’s brand new 14ft Lunds with brand new 15 hp 4-stroke motors (the cabin is now no more than 10 minutes away from anywhere on the lake). All are very nice upgrades.
Walleye fishing: last trip we got to expect to pull in 24inch plus whoppers every few hours but for this trip, the big girls were hard to find. We did get 2 x 26inchers and 3 x 24 inchers with quite a few 22/23 inchers but they were mixed in with the swarm of standard walleyes we got. Walleye are indeed essentially everywhere in the lake but were concentrated in the inlet and outlet areas – probably due to the late ice-out and high water flowage. 40-50 walleye a day with about a 17 inch average is typical.
Pike fishing: truly incredible with the number of trophy size fish – 38inches and above – much more than we expected. We all got at least one 41incher – except LarryS who “only” got himself a 39incher – his sister pulled in a 41inch whopper - and I was fortunate enough to haul in a 44incher beating my old personal best by 2 inches. About 16 pike above 38 inches for us – to me this is excellent trophy pike fishing – especially for such a small lake. This was good enough but the number of pike in the 30-33inch range was huge – and these are lots of fun to catch.
One, more than interesting occurrence: two of our guys tied two walleye off at the dock for me to fillet when I came in at lunch. I’ll bet everyone on this board has come back to find a walleye tied off to the dock in the grasp of a pike – but we had a 42incher totally swallow one walleye AND the stringer! (at least the stringer hook that the walleye was on). The pike swallowed the walleye head first then in its struggle to get away, the walleye doubled over in the pikes belly making the belly incredibly distended. See photo. we cut the stringer as close down as possible and the pike swam off to hopefully enjoy her unique lunch.
All in all, a totally enjoyable trip and it was nice to have a young lady in camp. We probably took more showers this trip than in all of the past 10 trips combined!
Questions? Feel free to ask.